The humanities are in crisis in much of the world in favor of technical careers. not in spain

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So far in the 20th century, humanistic careers such as History, Language and Literature, English Philology or Philosophy in the United States have experienced a drop in the number of enrolled students of between 30% and 50%, depending on the discipline. A bloodletting of students who, according to the data from the US Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systemhas benefited scientific and, above all, technical careers, which have absorbed a large part of these university students.

A very different situation from the one registered in our country, where degrees related to the humanities maintain, in general, the number of students enrolled in recent years, and some even increase the number of students. Technical careers, for their part, have evolved in a slightly similar way, although their increase in students is much lower than that of the United States.

Humanities in Spain. In the United States, humanities degrees have been losing about 10,000 students per year between 2010 and 2020, so they currently register about 100,000 fewer students than a decade ago. In Spain, the data available at the Ministry of Universities They only cover the last five years, but photography is quite different: only Art History and English Philology have lost students, 1,500 and 1,100, respectively, in the last five years.

Meanwhile, History has added 300 more students in this period, Philosophy more than 2,000 and Arts and Humanities (category that includes various studies, from Hispanic Philology to Design, through Anthropology or Fine Arts) has added more than 4,000, going from 140,027 students in 2015 to 144,052 in 2020.

Technical and scientific careers. The difference in the field of science and technology is not so marked, but it is also remarkable. In the United States, the number of students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the famous STEM, for its acronym in English) and health sciences has gone from just over 400,000 in 2010 to more than 800,000 in 2020, According to researcher Benjamin Schmidtwho has processed the public educational data of the United States and has shared it on his Twitter account.

In Spain, although there have also been increases in certain technical careers, especially in all those related to computing, the growth is much more moderate. Thus, for example, in all degrees related precisely to computer science, in the last five years the number of total enrollments has increased by 23.1%, especially due to the creation of new studies such as the degree in artificial intelligence or computer engineering. data.

In mathematics the increase has been even greater, 38.7%, but in Telecommunications Engineering the number of students enrolled is practically the same as five years ago, and in other technical careers such as Computer Engineering the number of students has even increased. reduced by 7.3%.

It’s the market, friend. Schmidt himself analyzed this downward trend in humanities careers and an upward trend in technical in an article published in The Atlantic in 2018, in which he concluded an obvious reason: students, and their parents, see greater job opportunities in careers related to the digital field and technology, and that is why more and more young Americans decide to study them.

Meanwhile, humanistic careers increasingly have a worse image in terms of employability and salary in that country. A vision that, according to Schmidt, is somewhat biased, since, despite the fact that most computer-related jobs do indeed offer greater job placement and higher salaries, other careers that are growing in enrollment at par, such as Biology or Business Administration, have similar job prospects.

The situation in Spain. The aforementioned article in The Atlantic does not mention Spain, but it does point to one of the main reasons that has made enrollments in technical careers in the United States grow so much and that in our country it has acted rather as a barrier: the number of available places.

Schmidt explains that in the last decade the educational offer for computer science degrees has increased considerably in American universities, which, beyond the taste of the students for technical careers and their good employability, is one of the main reasons that explain the remarkable increase in enrollment in technical disciplines.

In Spain, however, the number of available places has hardly changed in the last decade and, in fact, in the last ten years some 21,000 students have not been able to study computer science in Spain due to lack of training offer, as we explained in Xataka .

Image | Redd

So far in the 20th century, humanistic careers such as History, Language and Literature, English Philology or Philosophy in the…

So far in the 20th century, humanistic careers such as History, Language and Literature, English Philology or Philosophy in the…

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